LOL-ing In The Deep


I have to confess that I was entirely apathetic about the midterm election, insofar as I believe both parties are pawns of moneyed interests with plans to turn the nation into an economic facsimile of Brazil where drugged-out proles play Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy all day and mobility between the classes is murdered with extreme prejudice. Mr. Obama’s milquetoast pretensions to watered-down pseudo-populism have proven to be completely ephermal and under his supposedly Democratic administrations the holders of capital in this country have experienced a new Gilded Age while the government openly fiddles the numbers in order to turn the tens of millions of healthy and competent but utterly unemployable men in this country into nonpersons.

Still, I was pleased to wake up this morning and see that American voters had delivered a hammer to the back of Mr. Obama’s head with a staggering repudiation of his administration and his nonexistent accomplishments. It cannot be helped that most of the politicians who benefited from this ballots-not-bullets revolution are scarcely any different from the ones they replaced. What is important is that the country reaffirmed its willingness to eject major percentages of sitting elected officials for low performance.

What a surprise, then, to find that it’s really all about that racism and stuff.

Salon’s front page today is a mountain of incomprehensible garbage, as is that of the New York Times. The Times, which earlier this week openly argues that midterms should be canceled because African-Americans don’t bother to vote in them — an assertion that is racist in two separate yet equal ways — today ran a front page of mourning similar to what they put up on September 12, 2001. No fewer than three of the articles on and linked from that page referenced race.

Yet it’s still Salon that takes the cake with an article of astounding stupidity. The premise of the article is this: The percentage of white Americans who think white Americans are not currently responsible for the poverty of black Americans has increased in the past fourteen years, and that percentage is higher…

…in areas where white and black Americans live side-by-side.

Awwww shit. It’s almost like the white people who live in integrated areas know more about black people than the inhabitants of Fairfax County or Chelsea or Berkeley. It’s almost like white people who live around black people tend to see them as people and not a distant conclave of handicapped nonhumans who require consistent attention and love and direction from their Great White Fathers in the Hamptons.

Of course, if you read the article you won’t see that spelled out explicitly. Instead, you’ll see a lot of mumbo-jumbo about the racist South and how the Republican rebound in 2014 is entirely racism-related.

Never mind that this country elected an African-American president pretty much solely because he had an African father. It was literally the only thing he had on his resume besides being a community organizer and scholarship recipient and it was enough to make him the President. Never mind that 96% of African-Americans voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 93% of them voted for him in 2012, a percentage so staggering that it can only be accounted for by deep-seated racism in African-American voters. Never mind that white women vote for Mr. Obama at a rate that transcends party affiliation. In fact, you cannot shuffle the voting numbers in any way that do not indicate a strong preference for African-American presidential candidates among all races in the past two elections.

(Try to ignore for a moment that Alan Keyes and Hermain Cain, both of whom had two black parents, were marginalized and ridiculed by the media and left-leaning voters in the vilest terms possible. Racism is a tool to be used by progressive interests when it serves their purposes.)

If you think America is deeply racist, you might want to talk to Hilary Clinton. I bet she’s still wondering how she got sidelined by a freshman Senator. In what KKK-racist world does a white woman with letter-perfect progressive credentials get shoved aside by Barack Obama?

Forget all of that. The new barometer of racism, as defined by Salon, is this: If you do not believe that white Americans are responsible for the majority of the problems encountered in 2014 by people of color, you’re a racist. If you vote Republican, you’re a racist. If you oppose Democratic Party actions such as the attacks on black GOP candidates, you are a racist. If you ever ordered a Godfather’s Pizza, you’re racist, but not anti-Italian racist. If you enjoyed “I’m So Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, you’re a racist, even if you’re a black rapper, you’re a racist.

Right now the only tool progressives appear to have in their box is racism, so everything looks like a nail. But the problem with that is when you call everything racist, you are effectively calling nothing racist — effectively inoculating the American people against legitimate allegations of racist and preferential behavior.

I find it especially frustrating because there is much in the progressive agenda that could be emphasized instead: closing the wage gap, fixing healthcare, addressing major problems of inequality and corporate privilege in America. Instead, they’ve decided that they are the party of race.

It’s a dead end, and although it may be comforting to white liberals to think that racism is responsible for the defeat of white Democratic candidates, they longer they believe it, the longer it will be until there are genuine and valid progressive voices in the American mainstream. Which is a shame, even if you don’t believe in progressive principles. What we need in this country is a debate on real issues, and we aren’t getting it.

43 Replies to “LOL-ing In The Deep”

  1. Marc

    “As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance. ” -Dewey

    Jack, shame on you–> “…his nonexistent accomplishments” that is completely unfair. This compliance of this administration was crucial into turning all control of all real decisions over to the NY Fed while continuing the Bush doctrine of foreign policy and permanent small scale warfare into its 4th term. And where would we be without that?

    As for–> “What we need in this country is a debate on real issues, and we aren’t getting it.” best of luck with that in a system that is designed as a winner take all duopoly…

  2. Mark

    The Dem’s silly “War on Women” was finally shown to be as absolutely ridiculous as it always was, too. Maybe people are starting to not fall for this stuff…

  3. Dan S

    “Right now the only tool progressives appear to have in their box is racism, so everything looks like a nail. ”

    – You raping rapist you… it’s statements like this that propagate rape culture. Errr… you forgot the other tool they’ve got in their box.

    In all seriousness though, I agree it’d be nice to see someone try to address some of the legitimate progressive agenda that is out there. To borrow a concept from a fiction writer I’m rather fond of…. political power isn’t static, it’s a dynamic flow system with two main modes. It either accumulates into the hands of a small number of people or diffuses to the masses. It’s very much tending towards accumulation at this point, and both parties are paying lip service to a set of values while pushing more power and money into the hands of a small number of people. So I’d say it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see a real discussion on fixing healthcare, growing income inequality, etc.


    • Ronnie Schreiber

      I’m working with some 3D printers in Ann Arbor on an idea and their shop is on State street, pretty much in the middle of the UofM campus. Somehow the older teenagers and young women walking up and down the street don’t look to me like they’re cowering in fear of rape. It’s quite fascinating how the universities have been wholly owned subsidiaries of the left for two generations now yet these bastions of liberal thought are said to be hunting grounds for sexual predators. Meanwhile, Harvard’s doing a seminar on how to do anal sex. Just how schizophrenic is the left?

      • Dan Shepard

        I live pretty close to there in Ann Arbor. It’s one of the safest places I can readily think of, yet a coworker of mine is afraid of letting his daughter walk around u of m’s campus at night.

        Out of curiosity (feel free to not answer) is the place yours working with in/near all hands active by liberty and state? Also, if you’ve got any interest in grabbing a beer and talking cars/politics/whatever in A2 sometime, let me know

        • Ronnie Schreiber

          Drop me an email with your phone # and I’ll give you a ring next time I’m in Washtenaw County.

          The shop is called Thingsmiths. They have space on the second floor of a cool old building @ 313 S. State. If you’re working on an idea that could involve 3D printing, I highly recommend them. The process is remarkably inexpensive, $20/hr for design work and however many cubic centimeters of filament the print uses at ~$1.50/cc. The total cost of my first print is going to be less than $300.

          Considering how inexpensive the actual parts will be, I can go into limited production with almost no investment.

          I lived in A Squared for 9 years in the 1970s. The only business on that section of State Street that existed then that still is in business is the movie theater. Of course, someone makes sure that mural with Emma Goldman and Woody Allen at the corner of Liberty is maintained. That section of State reminds me very much of Old Woodward in downtown Birmingham. I wonder if anyone experiences cognitive dissonance as they admire Emma’s portrait on their way to an upscale eatery.

          Getting back to “rape culture”, I won’t be surprised if someone defaces Allen’s image, though cultural icons of the left like Allen and Roman Polanski seem to get a pass for their interest in girls.

    • disinterested-observer

      One of A. Whitney Brown’s (someday he hopes to be “The” Whitney Brown) “Big Picture” bits on SNL he mentioned that his grandmother couldn’t believe that in the north Catholics were considered white.

  4. jz78817

    couple of points:

    1) black voters have long been overwhelmingly Democratic. Clinton got ~85% of the black vote in 1992, Kerry got almost 90% in 2004.

    2) Herman Cain was ridiculed because his presentation as a “candidate” was clearly nothing more than pandering.

    • Bark M.

      Cain was a legitimate candidate, and would have made a better president than Obama. His campaign was sabotaged by Santorum’s people—otherwise, he would have presented a challenge to Romney.

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      It depends what you mean by “long”. Blacks started voting Democratic during the New Deal. Before that, they tended not to vote for the party of the KKK. Frankly, I’m interested in the cognitive dissonance of my Jewish brothers and sisters in the Democratic party. Surely they must know that their party is home to people who don’t like us.

      • JackJack Post author

        It’s not Jews the Democratic interest hates, Ronnie — it’s Israelis.

        As long as Jews are meek people who write jazz standards, they’re welcome under the big tent. It’s only when they make a bit of a fuss about being slaughtered by Arabs that they become problematic. The nerve of those Jews, fighting back during the Six Day War!

        • Marc

          Really…? You really think ‘the democratic interest’ hates Israelis? Maybe it is a bit more apt to say that ‘the Israeli interest’ is clever enough to obtain support from both sides all the time (and just a bit louder from the party that is currently out of power) because the Democrats tend to take just as much pro-Israel money, if not more than the Republicans:

          There’s a saying that the only thing that the 2 parties have ever agreed on is pro-tobacco legislation, anti-tobacco legislation and Israel. Actually I think the last president who actually openly criticized Israel was Reagan…

          Besides, do you really think ‘the democratic interest’ or let’s come out and say it: ‘minority voters’ really care about Israel and Palestine, or is it more likely that they share the exact same prejudices toward Jews that their counterpart working class poor everywhere and *especially* their white trash republican voter equivalents have toward Jews, namely the perception Jews get special treatment and rig the system against everyone else:

          The only difference is the Republicans are clever enough to leverage their megachurch voter block into even stauncher support for Israel since unlike minorities, you can even motivate hicks who may hate Jews personally into being big supporters of Israel, you know… end times and all…

          • JackJack Post author

            The anti-Israel people are almost all progressives. Just the way it is. Can’t tell you why.

          • Marc

            Only in America…

            reminds me of an old David Cross bit:
            ” [On growing up Jewish in the American South] All the parents see you as is a Jew; I’m a Jewish kid. I’m like a fucking alien to them, you know, I’m a freak…so If I slept over a friend’s house, I’d always have to deal with these questions in the morning, like, you know, Mom coming in going “David, I’m so sorry to have to ask you this, I’m so sorry, um…I’m fixing to make breakfast for everybody and I certainly wanna include you…and I’m just having some questions I was hoping you could answer…do y’alls people eat oatmeal?” What? Yeah. Is there something in the Torah that says we shouldn’t eat oatmeal? “No, it’s just that I don’t know much about y’alls people, that’s all, I just don’t know–I know y’all hate Jesus! I know y’all hate Jesus, that much I do know…aand, I know y’alls have seven Jew bankers that control the world’s money supply, right? In a bunker somewhere about a mile into the earth’s core? Is that right? Yeah? And y’all do dances in the woods, y’all wear cloaks and do secret services and burn potions and whatnots, and y’all have horns–that’s all I know about y’alls people!”

            Ironically, this would be your typical pro-Israel voter…

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            There’s a bit of stereotyping going on here. Speaking as Jew who’s fairly involved in my faith and my community, and as a former staff member of Jews For Judaism who has debated, disputed and picketed Christian missionaries like Jews For Jesus that target the Jewish community, and who has also had many rewarding relationships with believing Christians, I have to say that in my experience, Evangelical Christian Americans’ affection for Jews, Israel and Judaism is genuine. Though it might not be internally generated and rather due to their heeding God’s promise/warning that He’ll bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who treat them badly, I’d much rather have folks love me because they think God will be pissed off at them if they don’t, than have folks want to kill me because they think God will be pissed off if they don’t.

            Sure, there are supercessionists in both the Protestant and Catholic faith communities, and I’m sure that most believing Christians think I’ll personally go to hell if I don’t say the sinner’s pray and accept Jesus as my personal savior, but American Evangelicals understand that their faith wouldn’t exist were it not for Judaism and that Jesus and his disciples were for the most part practicing, observant Jews (cf the debate in Act between James and the other apostles over the role of Jewish law).

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            Re: David Cross. I just love it when people who have, at most, minimal ties to Judaism, who don’t practice it in any religious sense nor do they particularly celebrate Jewish culture, besides trying to mock it, pontificate (pun intended) about being Jewish.

            David Cross uses Judaism as a comedic foil. He’ll dress up like a Chasid for a joke but I’m willing to bet he can’t recite the Aleph Bet. Speaking of ‘bets’, $100 says that a typical kindergartner at the day school my kids attended knows more about Judaism than he does. The average adult American Jew has the equivalent of a 2nd Grade part-time Jewish education.

            Cross wants to have it both ways. He wants to be a proud atheist while putting down Christians for being insufficiently sensitive to his “Judaism”.

            Believe me, White southerners don’t have a monopoly on peculiar thoughts about Jews. Shall we discuss the time a black friend from Detroit accused me of “Jewing” him on a business deal?

          • Marc

            I don’t think Cross has ever done to intimate that he does have strong ties to Judaism, all he has ever done is poke fun at Judaism and his experiences of growing up Jewish in the South: “I have a few business ideas (that I’m going to advertise in High Times, amongst other places), and one of them is a service in which I offer to eat and describe pork to kosher people.”

        • Ronnie Schreiber

          It’s a hard call about the ’67 war. Israel launched preemptive strikes against Egypt and Syria so “fighting back” isn’t really accurate. However, the June 6th strikes followed more than a month of Nasser’s bellicose beating of the drums of war, not to mention shelling the Israelis. As we see with Hamas and Gaza, though, apparently people shooting rockets, mortars and missiles at Israelis aren’t considered acts of war by lots of folks.

          Now in 1973, the Israelis, after Golda Meir decided not to attack preemptively, were losing the war in the early days and indeed had to fight back. That decision ultimately cost the lives of 3,000 Israelis, not a small loss in a country of just a few million people. Their lines were broken on both fronts and they’d lost lots of aircraft and, perhaps more importantly, tanks. Though Ariel Sharon’s audacious decision to counter-attack in the Sinai, cross the Suez canal and attack the 3rd Egyptian army from the rear gets a lot of attention, it was the actions of literally a handful of tank commanders who saved the Israeli’s tuchases on the Golan Heights. Search on [Golan, tanks, Greengold, Kahalani, Askarov]. Tzvika Greengold took on a column of about 200 Syrian tanks, sometimes with one other tank, other times by himself.

  5. Felis Concolor

    To everything (spin, spin, spin)
    There is an angle (spin, spin, spin)
    And a time for every weasel word in D.C.

    I was having far too much fun pointing and laughing yesterday to notice the spin doctors ramping up into hyperdrive, until Amy Goodman started up that Democratic Party Now! radio show – and then I pointed and laughed some more.

    Bring back real debates, with 3rd and 4th party candidates to create a true 2-dimensional field of issues and watch the 2 major parties abandon their collusive extremist positions in a heartbeat.

  6. Ronnie Schreiber

    I have a left wing acquaintance who insists that no matter how many blacks are in my personal life as friends and customers, no matter how I treat blacks privately or publicly, I’m still a racist because “deep down” I “fear” people of color. The motorcycle and car club officers who know where I keep my emergency “locked out of the house” key, got a good laugh at that.

    Speaking of “people of color”, if Arabs are now sanctified as “brown”, can Jews, who are genetic cousins of Arabs, and were certainly considered swarthy by many Europeans not too long ago, be beige?

  7. Opaddington

    Ronnie, your fellow hebrews and shebrews experience zero cognitive dissonance because most Jews in America are completely secular. They don’t practice religion and therefore see no beef between themselves and Muslims. That’s why they’ll rip Israel for defending itself and blame the west in general for all the thuggery perpetrated by the “religion of peace”. With that attitude, their welcomed with open arms by the American left.

  8. Snavehtrebor

    “Try to ignore for a moment that Alan Keyes and Hermain Cain, both of whom had two black parents, were marginalized and ridiculed by the media and left-leaning voters..”
    Don’t forget Condi Rice. She wasn’t authentic enough either.

    As a native South Carolinian I am proud to have elected Tim Scott as only the 5th African American Senator. You can guess what my lib/prog friends said about that. Google “Hiram Rhodes Revels” for more fun history of the Democratic party.

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      When the Tea Partiers were having protests on Capitol Hill, Rep. James Clyborn completely fabricated a story about a supposed black U.S. senator from South Carolina who had been driven from office by the KKK during reconstruction, trying to smear the Tea Partiers as racists. I contacted his press officer and told him that it was a made up story, that the only thing like it in American history, at least for a national office, was a black representative from Louisiana who had been forced from office, and that, as was the case with all early black office holders in this country, he was a Republican. The KKK was a Democratic institution. The press officer’s response was pretty much ‘so what if he made up a story’.

      It doesn’t surprise me that Clyborn has all but called Tim Scott an Uncle Tom. Jews and blacks who don’t hew to the accepted leftist narrative are often disparaged by members of their communities who haven’t yet left Massa’ Reid’s plantation. I’ve been told that it’s a “shonda” (Yiddish for “shame” or “scandal”) for me not be on the left. Thing is, secular and liberal Reform & Conservative (note the capital C) Jews have fewer Jewish children and even fewer Jewish grandchildren than religiously observant Jews, who tend to vote right of center (though community leaders with their own political and financial interests can sway things – Chasidic communities in NY state vote the way their rebbe tells them to vote and sometimes the Dems offer more entitlements and here locally in suburban Detroit, the local Orthodox establishment backed the Democratic candidates supported by Gary Torgow, a wealthy and influential lawyer/banker with ties to the Democratic party).

    • JackJack Post author

      I would say that it is a product of:

      0. The Clinton campaign, which floated the “birther” ideas during the primary;
      1. Obama’s bizarre decision to wait THREE YEARS before releasing the long form;
      2. The suspicious death of the Hawaii state official involved;
      3. A remarkable and concerted reluctance on the part of the media to discuss the issue or demand the release of the certificate.

      Any time you have a parental situation like Mr. Obama’s, which is to say a mother who was the town bicycle and a father who was not an American citizen, you are going to have questions like this.

      Note that nobody ever asked for Jesse Jackson’s birth certificate, nor have African-American politicians typically faced this question in the past. For this to be the product of racism, rather than subterfuge and misdirection on the part of two separate Democratic political campaigns, you would have to demonstrate that black candidates face this question more often than white candidates. That does not seem to be the case.

      Put another way — calling Michael Jackson a child molester is not racist. It stems from suspicious behavior on his part. The same is true here.

      • Pch101

        I’m sorry, but that’s remarkably naive at best and disingenuous at worst.

        It’s pretty obvious that Obama is seen by a segment of this society as being The Other, some evil foreign black devil who is here to destroy us with his foreign Islamic communism. His race is part of what makes it easy for those who are so inclined to depict him as being Not One of Us.

        There was never any substantive reason to release his birth certificate. Just because the nutjobs were demanding to see was no reason for him to produce it; they shouldn’t get to dictate the national agenda. Negotiating with terrorists is not a wise idea.

        • JackJack Post author

          “It’s pretty obvious that Obama is seen by a segment of this society as being The Other, some evil foreign black devil who is here to destroy us with his foreign Islamic communism. His race is part of what makes it easy for those who are so inclined to depict him as being Not One of Us.”

          There’s a lot of projection and a lot of privilege in that statement. This is 2014, you don’t get to make blanket statements about how other groups of people feel. Particularly when you are assigning them motivations that you clearly feel to be contemptible.

          Again, Jesse Jackson never got the birth certificate question. Neither did Carol Moseley-Braun. Are you implying they are differently black from Mr. Obama?

          “There was never any substantive reason to release his birth certificate.”

          Certainly there was. He was the son of a foreign national and an adventuress. There was every possibility that he was born somewhere else. Furthermore, having your citizenship questioned is a side effect of deciding that you don’t want to be Barry Soetoro as soon as you feel it is politically advantageous to be Barack Hussein Obama again.

          If I changed my name to Malik Ishmael al-Shabazz, you can bet your ass that employers would ask to see my proof of citizenship, no matter how “American” I do or do not look.

          “Negotiating with terrorists is not a wise idea.”

          Unless you’re Jewish, amirite?

        • Marc

          At the end of the day the birther controversy isn’t racist so much as its desperate… It is simply that segment of society that hates Obama (because he stands for everything they resent, not necessarily ‘just’ because he is black) trying to invalidate his election by seizing onto a technicality. Its not that they care that even care he could conceivably have been foreign born- those same people would vote for Ted Cruz in a heartbeat without giving second thought to where he was born, its just trying to find any technicality that would invalidate someone who is the apotheosis of everything they can’t stand, like how he is also ‘confused’ for a Muslim quite a lot. But you can be sure that in a parallel universe a white liberal with Obama’s exact background save for a Scandinavian father instead of an African one would get exactly the same birther treatment… especially if the ‘conspiracy’ was fueled in the way Jack described above.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            The “native born” issue has indeed come up with George Romney (born in Mexico to Mormon missionary parents) and to a lesser extent John McCain (Canal Zone?). It’s also been raised by some about Marco Rubio. I think that Pres. Obama has deliberately not released his personal records and college transcripts at least in part to keep the “birther” issue alive. It helps the president to portray his critics as deranged.

            Since this crowd likes cars, I can’t mention George Romney without saying how he was one of the most competent auto executives ever. Also, the folks who think that Mitt Romney inherited great wealth don’t know what they’re talking about. His dad may have made a few million dollars over the course of his career. I believe his George Romney’s maximum salary at AMC was $200,000/year (he actually turned down an offered raise in the 1950s). They weren’t the richest family on their block in Bloomfield Hills and Mitt was not the richest kid at Cranbrook by a long shot.

          • Marc

            btw, that is the equivalent of earning $25mil or so in today’s money over that 11 year period, there is no way you can describe Mitt as anything other than the product of extreme privilege by any standard.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            That NYT article says that George and Lenore Romney reported income of almost $3 million from 1955 to 1966 (when he started running for president). That works out to $275K/yr, not really that far off from the $200K his AMC salary was. I’ll have to check Charles Hyde’s book but it’s possible that at the end in 1962, Romney may have been making as much as $250,000/yr, but the 200K figure is stuck in my head.

            To begin with, I’m not going to buy into your notion of “extreme privilege” at least as regarding the Romneys. Everyone is born into this world with a set of advantages and disadvantages. George Romney rose from very humble beginnings and nothing the Romneys had when Mitt was growing up was due to privilege. Before he got a job with the aluminum mfgs’ association (which led to a job with the war production board which put him in contact with George Mason at Nash-Kelvinator, who made Romney his protege) Romney supported his family as a salesman on the road, selling stuff out of his trunk.

            As far as high level Detroit auto executives’ pay went, no, the Romneys were not exceptionally affluent. AMC was the poor sister of the Big 3. I’d bet that any one of the division managers at GM had larger salaries than the AMC CEO. Like I said, there were a lot richer kids at Cranbrook (and, speaking of privilege, the Punahou School in Hawaii, Mr. Obama’s alma mater, has a larger endowment than that of the Cranbrook-Kingswood institutions).

          • Marc

            I really dont want to get into it because ultimately I dont give a rat’s ass about Mitt Romney (however he got whatever he has- good for him, i couldnt care less), but I don’t know how you can try to rationalize away the fact that a kid who’s dad made $25mil in today’s money between the time he was 8 and the time he was 19 was by definition a product of literally all the privilege that money can theoretically buy. Good for him, I really don’t have any problem with privilege and remember we are not talking about whether Romney Sr. started humble or not but as you said: “the folks who think Mitt Romney inherited great wealth don’t know what they’re talking about” and that is just bullshit, sorry but it is.

  9. AoLetsGo

    Race is a volatile and contentious topic. One fact that can not be disputed is that the percentage of the US population that is white has been declining rapidly since 1950 when it was 90% to 72% in 2010.
    Playing the plantation slavery race card will not be the same with American Hispanics, Arabs, and Asians.


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